Completing and updating your company's Person with Significant Control Register

As of 26 July 2017, it has been a legal requirement that limited companies and limited liability partnerships maintain a Person with Significant Control Register ( PSC Register ) so why is it, after all this time, when I look up a company at Companies House...

Having a contract in writing: why you need one and why it's a good investment

Many business deals are concluded by “Gentleman’s Agreements”. These can work for people and businesses - until there is an issue or uncertainty. Unfortunately, deals and relationships in business can, and do, go wrong for many reasons....

Online platforms - promoting fairness and transparency

If you are running online intermediation services or if you are a user of online intermediation services, this article is for you. A new European Regulation, which will become enforceable in 2020, has been adopted by the Economic and Financial Affairs...

Websites, cookies and data protection

Many online business owners ask me about the significance of “cookies”. They question the need for a Cookies Policy for their website. If you are one of them, the following might provide some assistance. Cookies are text files which contain...

How to keep your website legal

If you are setting up a new business you are going to want to create a new website – your shop window – so that you can reach a wider audience. But you might need a bit of help ensuring that you stay the right side of the law. Solicitor and...

Brexit - what does it mean for intellectual property owners?

Britain leaving the European Union will not have any effect on domestic national intellectual property rights, such as trade marks, registered designs, patents and copyright, but many UK businesses that previously considered registering intellectual...

Make your 'mark' to avoid legal woes

Businesses across Chelmsford and the region are urged to protect their products or brands by the use of a registered trade mark. The advice comes from intellectual property lawyer Claire Wiles, part of the dispute resolution team at Essex based law firm...

Intellectual property - how will you protect yours?

Imitation, it is said, is the sincerest form of flattery; but when it comes to business, this is not always the case.  If someone copies your product and makes a profit, not only have they unfairly benefitted from your enterprise and reputation, they...

Cyber security - Is your business protected?

In a world where the number of websites, e-mails and electronic files increases on a daily basis it has never been more important to protect your business against threats to cyber security. For that reason the government has published advice for...

Is your website compliant?

In today’s electronic age the vast majority of businesses have a website. Some trade using it while others just use it as a means of advertising (a “brochure” site). What many businesses do not do have is a website that is fully compliant...

If only I'd put a Retention of Title clause in my terms and conditions...

It’s all too common a situation – especially during an economic downturn - Seller delivers good to Buyer along with an invoice, payable within 30 days, Buyer becomes insolvent so Seller joins the ranks of all other unsecured creditors and will be...

The Information Commissioner's Office shows its bite has teeth!

Many of us using email as a regular means of correspondence are aware of just how easy it is to send an email to the wrong person, particularly where we have a number of contacts with the same or similar names. Whether on a professional or personal level,...

Government plans to modernise intellectual property law

At the end of 2010, the Government commissioned an independent review into how the Intellectual Property system could better support and drive business growth. The review was published in May 2011 and made ten recommendations. Among the recommendations were...

Copyright - is your business adequately protected?

Copyright protection rewards authors for the creation of original works. Copyright is intended to protect the method of expressing ideas, and not the actual ideas themselves. “Works” are considered under the main headings of: literary works...

Know Your Customers' Rights?

The Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) was adopted by the European Union on the 10 October 2011. The Directive was originally put forward to create a uniform set of consumer rights across the European Union. The overarching aim of the new Consumer Rights...

OFT takes action against "group-buying" website

In the past year or so the popularity of group-buying websites has increased dramatically. These websites offer discounts on products which are conditional upon a certain number of people signing up to purchase them. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has...

Protecting intellectual property

The politicians all agree: a key lesson from the credit crisis is that we need to re-balance the British economy and that harnessing new ideas and new ways of doing things will be a major part of that exercise. At Birkett Long, we see encouraging signs that...

"Cookies" - avoid the monster

The Information Commissioner has given organisations and businesses that run websites aimed at UK consumers up to 12 months to ‘get their house in order’ before enforcement of a new EU “cookies” law. A “cookie” is a...

Are Intellectual Property Laws "Fit for the internet age"?

A Government review into how the Intellectual Property (IP) system can better support and drive business growth in the UK is due out this year. The Government wants to ensure that the UK IP framework is developed to let businesses own and protect their...

New advertising codes now in force

Advertising in the UK is a self regulated activity, with the advertising and broadcast industries publishing codes that are required to be followed by all those advertising in print or by broadcast media. The key objectives are to ensure that advertising is...

Spam spam spam

With businesses clambering for customers, the use of email marketing has increased rapidly over the last few years. It is seen as a very cost effective way of instantly getting products and services in front of those who matter. To help, businesses can buy...

Reflect reality in your contracts

The recent case of Kingsway Hall Hotel v Red Sky IT (Hounslow) Ltd has highlighted the need for a supplier’s standard terms and conditions to accurately reflect the reality of the situation for both parties. One size certainly does not fit all. The...

ISPs Exempt from Hate Speech Charges

New Regulations have recently been passed that exempt internet service providers (ISPs) from responsibility for sexuality-related hate speech transmitted over their networks. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 amended the Public Order Act 1986...

No Exemption for Wi-Fi Operators

The controversial Digital Economy Bill, which we reported on in our last issue of For Business, has now become law after it was rushed through Parliament ahead of the recent general election. One of the most criticised provisions of the Act makes a...

A few pounds now can protect your company from painful costs and long-term damage

“Your business' reputation is tied up with its name, ideas and designs. You don't want somebody else trading on it,” said Tom Lawrence, commercial litigation specialist at Essex-based solicitors Birkett Long. “It’s important to invest...

Counterfeits can be destroyed if importer does not object

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has changed customs law to allow the destruction of suspected counterfeit goods without the brand owner initiating court proceedings. The amendment to the rules has arisen following criticism of a requirement...

OFT directs focus on internet shopping

Consumer protection regulator the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into consumer benefit from complex goods and services contracts, in particular online shopping. The OFT will research whether consumers are fully aware of the...

Increased penalties for data protection breaches

Organisations could face fines of up to £500,000 if found guilty of serious data protection breaches, according to new Government rules set to be enforced this year. Public sector, voluntary and private organisations have been warned by the...

US copyright judgements 'unenforceable in English jurisdiction'

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision to deny US copyright judgements precedence in English courts regarding the sale of Star Wars memorabilia. Andrew Ainsworth was challenged by Star Wars creator, George Lucas, in a multi-million pound battle over the...

If Only...I had used a Software Licence

Most computer users are aware of the existence of “end user” licenses for computer software, even if they are not familiar with the meaning behind the small print. Every time you sign up to a new program for use on a computer, you will be asked...

Illegal Downloading to be Targeted by New Laws

The Government’s Digital Britain report, which was published earlier this year, was criticised for its “too soft” approach to illegal downloading. It led to an outcry from film and record companies who have been pushing for tougher...

eBay offers consumers compensation

Online market giant, eBay, could be forced to pay thousands of customers’ compensation after its network servers crashed, halting countless bids in the process. According to eBay, a surge in sellers wanting to earn a few extra pounds before the...